The 2012 J.D. Power and Associates Dependability Study results are in and a year after being unseated by Lincoln, Lexus is back on top of the list. Toyota was well represented in the study's top five, with Toyota, Lexus, and Scion all earning a spot. Lexus lead the list, with Porsche the runner-up, Cadillac and Toyota tied for third, Scion in fourth, and Mercedes-Benz in fifth.

J.D. Power's 2012 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study is based on 31,000 original owners of 2009 model year vehicles after three years of ownership, with the rating of Problems per 100 Vehicles (PP100) behind based on issues experienced in the past year.

2011 saw an overall reliability improvement across the board, with J.D. Power reporting that 25 of 32 brands saw an increase in reliability compared to last year. Six brands dropped in the rankings, while one saw no change. J.D. Power noted that a strong initial vehicle quality in 2009 translated directly to the historical high dependability of 132 PP100 we have now in 2012. The Lexus LS led the industry with just 72 PP100.

J.D. Power also pointed out that domestic automakers rose slightly faster than their imported counterparts, and that some automakers (particularly domestic), face unfounded questions about overall reliability from customers. During the last four years Buick, Cadillac, Ford, Hyundai, and Lincoln all faced a high proportion of new-vehicle buyers expressing reliability concerns, when all five brands have consistently reported strong levels of dependability in J.D. Power's research.

Of the 14 different segments that J.D. Power and Associates break vehicles down into, Toyota products topped eight of them. Ford products took three segments, GM and Nissan products captured two each, and Hyundai won one segment. J.D. Power also noted that the Ford Mustang, GMC Yukon, and Porsche 911 all performed especially well -- though they didn't receive awards due to either an insufficient number of award-eligible vehicles, or insufficient market share of award-eligible vehicles.

Sitting at the bottom five of the nameplate rankings were all Chrysler nameplates. Chrysler was last, with Dodge, Jeep and Ram following closely behind. The bottom five was rounded out by Jaguar and Infiniti in a fifth place tie. You can check out the full list of the rankings below.

2012 Nameplate Ranking

Brand, Problems per 100 Vehicles – Industry average 132 PP100
1. Lexus, 86
2. Porsche, 98
3. Cadillac, 104
3. Toyota, 104
4. Scion, 111
5. Mercedes-Benz, 112
6. Lincoln, 116
7. Ford, 124
8. Buick, 125
8. Hyundai, 125
9. Acura, 129
10. Honda, 131
11. Chevrolet, 135
12. Volvo, 143
13. Audi, 148
13. Audi, 148
13. Smart, 148
14. Subaru, 149
15. Nissan, 152
16. Mitsubishi, 153
17. BMW, 154
18. GMC, 158
19. Mini, 161
20. Mazda, 163
21. Suzuki, 167
22. Kia, 169
22. Volkswagen, 169
23. Infiniti, 172
23. Jaguar, 172
24. Ram, 174
25. Jeep, 179
26. Dodge, 183
27. Chrysler, 192

Top Three Models per Segment

Compact Crossover/SUV
1. Chevrolet Equinox
2. Honda CR-V
3. Toyota RAV4

Midsize Crossover/SUV
1. Ford Explorer (tie)
1. Nissan Murano (tie)
2. Toyota Highlander

Midsize Premium Crossover/SUV
1. Lexus RX 350
2. Lincoln MKX

Midsize Pickup
1. Nissan Frontier
2. Ford Ranger
3. Honda Ridgeline

Minivan
1. Toyota Sienna
2. Honda Odyssey

Large Pickup
1. Toyota Tundra
2. GMC Sierra HD
3. Chevrolet Silverado

Source: J.D. Power and Associates